Movie Review: Constantine: City of Demons (2018)

Two animations in a row? I know, fucking insanity up in this joint. But hey, it’s my blog and my Month of Spooks, so I can do whatever I want. Besides, why wouldn’t I wanna talk about DC’s arguably most well known horror character?

Ladies and gents… “Constantine: City of Demons”.

When his daughter is thrown into a supernaturally induced coma, Chas Chandler (Damien O’Hare) enlists the help of his old mate, John Constantine (Matt Ryan), to hopefully fix this whole situation. And as they look further into the situation, they not only get into new troubles, but old wounds get opened back up too. I thought the story here was good. Leans a bit too heavily on exposition during the first act, but as soon as we get into act two, things aren’t quite so info-dumpy. And I have to admit that I didn’t fully see where this story was going, it managed to throw me for a loop multiple times, telling a narrative that understands the “Hellblazer” mythos and themes, while still making it accessible to anyone unfamiliar with the material. That latter point might be somewhat related to the info-dumping in the first act, which makes it kind of a double-edged sword, but that’s just how shit ends up some times. But yeah… the story’s good, if a bit flawed.

The characters in this are flawed, colorful, and overall quite interesting. Constantine in this is more like in the comics rather than how he’s portrayed in the Keanu Reeves movie. He’s British, snarky, and a bit aloof. And while he’s not quite as morally flexible as he is in the comics, they do nod towards that idea a fair bit throughout this movie, which makes him a bit more interesting. And Matt Ryan (in his fourth appearance) is great in the role. Damien O’Hare as John’s trusted friend Chas Chandler does a great job as the committed and brave, yet slightly impulsive type. And in the supporting cat we got people like Laura Baily, Robin Atkin Downes, Jim Meskimen, Rachel Kimsey, Rick Wasserman, and more, all doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Kevin Riepl, and it was alright. It is overall a well composed score that worked fine for the movie, but I felt that it might’ve been a little bit on the bland-ish side. It does have some cool chorals that make it stand out a little bit, but for the most part it’s your typical orchestral stuff with occasional synthesizers for effect. Again, not bad, pretty good, but a little bland.

Of course based on the legendary DC/Vertigo Character, “Constantine: City of Demons” was directed by Doug Murphy, who I think did a good job with it. He doesn’t force a lot of needless action or an unnecessarily rapid pace, instead opting for a decent bit of downtime, letting characters breathe and letting the audience take in what’s going on a bit. And even when there is action, it isn’t typical action-action with fists flying all about the place or flashy spells pew-pewing all day long, which I think is a fun change of pace. And the animation carrying it all, I think is good (based on the standards of these lower budget DC animated flicks). There are some minor things that distracted in it, like some of the blood splatter effects, but for the most part the animation looks nice and wonderfully brings out some of the nastier stuff in the DC universe.

This movie has been decently well received. On imdb.com (which is the only site with a clear number), it has a score of 7,4/10.

While it isn’t perfect, “Constantine: City of Demons” is still a very enjoyable take on the titular Hellblazer. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, okay music, and really good directing/animation. Though it is unfortunately brought down a bit by a little too much exposition dumping, and some minor animations niggles. Time for my final score. *Bollocks*. My final score for “Constantine: City of Demons” is an 8,77/10. So while flawed, I’d say it’s still worth buying.

My review of “Constantine: City of Demons” is now completed.

“Abraka-fooking-dabra” – John Constantine.

“Constantine” animated series first look!

Hello there, my friends. Time for another trailer talk… sort of. It’s not exactly a “trailer” per se, but it technically counts as a trailer but still not… fuck it, let’s just get into it.

So we finally have our first look at the animated “Constantine” series, set in the Arrowverse. Backstory time. John Constantine was created in 1984 by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, and John Totleben for the “Swamp Thing” comics. He’s an occult detective/con man/magician known for his quick wits, snarky attitude, and constant chain smoking. In 1988 he got his first solo comic series called “Hellblazer” (which is a pretty awesome comic). He has then appeared in various comic series’, and also had his own movie in 2005 called “Constantine”, starring Keanu Reeves. Then in 2014 he got his own TV show (also called “Constantine”) where he was played by Matt Ryan. The show was great but was canceled after only one season due to less than stellar ratings. Then Matt Ryan reprised the role in an episode of CW series “Arrow”. Then he reprised it again in the animated DC movie “Justice League Dark” (which I reviewed a while back if you’re interested). Then it got announced that he’d get his own animated show on CW seed, the CW’s very own streaming service. And now we arrive at very current times, where are New York Comic Con they released a first look at the animated series (Titled “Constantine”). And it looks cool. The animation is slick, Matt Ryan is back as John Constantine, and holy shit, this looks like it will be rated R. There’s blood/gore, some cursing (probably no F-bombs, but I’d gladly be proven wrong), and yes… I am so excited. Sure, the creature designs here aren’t the most interesting, but I am still incredibly excited for this! “Constantine” the animated series is coming soon to CW seed.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for “Constantine”? And what is your favorite on-screen version of him out of the Keanu movie, NBC show, and “Justice League Dark”? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the “trailer”!!!

Series Review: Constantine – Season 1 (2014 – 2015)

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Whenever you find a good show you want it to go on for quite some time, right? Well that is something that happens to me every now and then. I find a show that maybe has one (or more) seasons and I think “Man, this is great, keep this going!”. Unfortunately continuations don’t always happen and that saddens me. This is such a time. The only reason I am reviewing this is because there is a chance it won’t get a second season. I otherwise want to review a show if it is finished and I have finished every episode. So let’s have a look.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Constantine”!

This show is based on the “Hellblazer” comics and is about protagonist John Constantine (Matt Ryan). He is an exorcist/demonologist/master of the dark arts. After he went into hiding after a major fuck up he has to come back out as a darkness is coming in towards the world. But he isn’t operatingn alone, oh no! He will try to save the world with his old friend and driver Chas (Charles Halford) and his newly found friend and psychic Zed (Angélica Celaya). There is also an angel by the name of Manny (Harold Perrineau, also fucking really?). Of course the layout isn’t only main story of John and friends taking on this huge darkness. The show follows a sort of “Freak of the week” format where every episode(ish) they have to face a new smaller supernatural threat. Now that has been the complaint done by some people as it doesn’t benefit the narrative structure 100%, and I can get behind that argument. But I still enjoyed it. It was fun and great seeing John and the others take care of every supernatural problem they encounter. I liked the plot.

The characters in the show all have good personalities and are all very interesting. Let’s start off with our main man, Constantine (roll credits). He is a careless, witty, cool, asshole. But that is how I like him and Matt Ryan portrays that so well. What I also like is that Constantine isn’t an action hero in this unlike in that movie with Keanu Reeves (Sidenote: The movie is enjoyable). In this show he is vulnerable, believe me, he can take care of himself but he isn’t like this ultra badass action dude. That is why I like him, he is relatable. It is also fun having Captain Edward Kenway (Sidenote: “Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag” reference) playing this awesome character. Next up is Chas, John’s best friend and driver… in a taxi. I am not going to spoil the cool thing about Chas here as you find out in the first episode and as it is the coolest shit ever. Sure, he isn’t AS prominent as John but he is still a valuable asset to the show. What you like about him is that he is the calm and collected center who sort of balances out the weird that is John Constantine. Also, whenever he gets angry he explodes and it is glorious especially since Charles Halford has such a powerful voice. And finally we have Zed, a psychic who helps John with her visions that usually help the gang to determine where to go next. What I like about her is like Chas, she is a good balance to John and his shenanigans. She is also a tough lady who can take care of herself when she needs to but she still keeps a kind of vulnerable and almost innocent aura about her. Overall the characters of “Constantine” are all great and really well-acted.

The score was done by acclaimed composer Bear McCreary (Walking Dead, Battlestar Galactica). And I think it works perfectly. You get what you’d expect from a horror-themed fantasy show. A lot of suspenseful tracks with a lot of epic tracks as well when they are needed. I also noticed there is a good usage of like a keyboard or organ or something, I don’t fucking know what it is but it sounds awesome! You can hear it mostly in the theme tune of the show which I would call a great theme tune. The music in the show is great.

The visual effects in this show are pretty great. They are really well done and look truly horrific and badass and awesome. The same can be said for how they did with the camera work. It looks great with excellent cinematography. There is a fair amount of use of the “Dutch angle” (Sidenote: Dutch angle means you film it at a circa 45 degree angle). They did it excellently in the scenes where it was used and it fit the scenes perfectly unlike that piece of shit called “Battlefield Earth”.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception to say the least. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 72% positive rating. Metacritic once again has the lowest score with a score of 53/100. And on imdb the show has a score of 7,7/10.

“Constantine” is one of the best fantasy shows of recent years. Sure, the narrative style will divide audiences but the plot and individual episodes are all great. The acting is really good, the writing is great with one moment in the show almost tearing me up, the score is excellent and everything about the visuals is just fantastic. Time for my final score. O potens ultima signant, venit ad me! My final score for “Constantine” season 1 (Or “Constantine” in general if there is no season 2) is a 9,88/10. I absolutely loved this show and I will give it my “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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Review of “Constantine” is completed.

Just a minute more guys, I really want this show to go on and get more seasons so I would appreciate it if you could sign this petition to help maybe get it continued, thank you! http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-constantine